12 Angry Men Laissez-faire Style
One approach that this movie had was the laissez faire approach. This approach is defined as leading against the norm. When all twelve of the jurors come into the room, eleven of them decide quickly that the boy is guilty.
They decided this because they wanted a quick and to the point process. This is an example of laissez faire as it is very much a hands-off approach. This is not a good form of leadership which is confirmed later on in the movie. Charismatic leadership is displayed by juror number eight. This juror goes against everyone else’s opinion by questioning and arguing with them. He brings up many good points that slowly starts to change the other jurors’ minds of whether the boy is guilty or not guilty. Transactional leadership is displayed by the foreman of the jurors. He sits them down and tells them how things are going to go. Everyone will vote but there must be a 100% agreement. He keeps them focused on the topic at hand. Leadership is seen throughout the whole movie.
A contingency theory is when success is dependent on the specific situation at hand and how certain factors help to determine the success or failure. I feel this theory best explains the leadership of this group. Juror number eight displayed this theory throughout the movie. He did not know anything about the other jurors but knew he was going to be looked down upon for going against the majority vote. He listened to what each one had to say and the suggestions they had and adjusted his leadership style by the reactions of other jurors. This led him to having great success in this case.
Roles that focus on completing the task are known as task roles. I feel that juror number eight was the major task role of the film. Juror number eight initiated a deeper conversation about the case because he was the first to vote not guilty. He provided good information that other jurors had not thought of before suggesting the kid was guilty. Juror eight listened to what others had to say about the case. He then gave his opinion on whether that information could be used or whether he thought it was un-useful information. He valued the opinions of the other jurors. Juror number eight also evaluated each and every situation. He assessed the ideas, arguments and suggestions of each point brought up. He thought critically about the information.
Self-centered roles are roles that focus on the person themselves. They are not focused on the issue at hand. Juror number three was very self-centered. He blocks out what everyone else thinks and prevents others from participating. He disagreed with what everyone had to say and was not willing to compromise in anyway. He felt his vote was correct and that is the way it should be. Juror number six was also self-centered. He made unfitting comments and distracted the other members due to goofing off. Juror number six was always countered by juror number eight. Juror eight would evaluate what juror six said and would give his opinion on the topic.
Roles that affect how the group gets along are known as maintenance roles. Juror number nine was a maintenance role of this film. He encouraged every person’s comments and agreed with each member. He listened to what everyone had to say and provided comments when necessary. Task, maintenance, and self-centered roles all created a problem sometime throughout the movie. The foreman would step in and break up any arguments happening. He would bring the group back to what the situation at hand was. When he tried to give up his seat as foreman, many jurors told him what a good job he does and told him to continue being foreman.
Many of the jurors involved with the case were selfish and one-sided. At the beginning they all felt that their opinion was the only one that mattered. Juror number eight was the leader and he was able to get the jurors all on the same page to unite their decision. The verbal behaviors that the jurors contributed were identification, conflict management, investigating language, and interdependence. The nonverbal communication included defensive and supportive behavior, good eye contact, and the body language of the jurors. The foreman-initiated conversation about the case. He also contributed to the conversation with the jurors. Juror number eight evaluated what the other jurors had to say. Juror eight was able to get all of the jurors on the same page for a decision to be made.
Substantive, procedural, and affective conflict were all expressed through out 12 Angry Men. Substantive conflict is when members disagree on the issues the group needs to address or the groups values. A substantive conflict example in this movie is when all of the jurors vote not guilty but juror number eight. Procedural conflict is a disagreement on how to achieve a goal or resolution. An example of procedural conflict in the film is when juror number seven does not agree with the process in which voting is being handled. Since he does not agree with the process he votes not guilty and says to get this over with, so they do not have to deal with it any more. Affective conflict is a conflict that revolves around differences or dislikes between individuals. The differences between juror number eight and juror number three are an example of affective conflict. Positive attitude was shown by juror number eight as he was attentive on the issue directly, respected all of the other jurors, and he wanted to fix the conflicts. Juror number three showed a negative attitude due to the tone of his voice, how defensive he was, and it continued to be competitive. Juror number eight was good and helpful when it came to resolving the conflicts with the other jurors. He was able to explain the opinion he had when each juror would bring up another issue with the case. In the end he was able to get everyone to agree.
Argumentation is the action or process of reasoning systematically in support of an idea, action, or theory. One argument analysis brought up in the movie is the knife that the boy used to murder his dad. The pawn shop said it was a unique and that they sold it to the boy. The boy said he had lost it out of a hole in his jeans. Juror number eight then pulls a knife out of his pocket that he bought from a store and said there were others like it. So, the knife is not unique to the area. Another argument analysis was when the old lady states that she saw the boy kill his dad through the train windows while the train was passing by. Juror number eight then brought up that others have said that you can see through the windows of an empty passing train at night. It was brought up that it would not have been a clear picture due to the speed of the train. The last argument that I have found is when the old man that lives next to them said he heard the boy state I’ll kill you to the father, heard a body fall, and the boy run down the stairs out of the department. The old man said within seconds he heard the body fall to the ground. Juror number eight said there would have been at least a ten second pause and with the noise of the train going by there would be no good proof that it was the body falling to the ground.
Each juror evaluates the situation differently due to the different personalities of each man. Juror number three is very judgmental toward the boy due to the relationship he had with his own son. Other jurors were not phased by the fact that they were deciding the rest of a child’s life. They just wanted to be outside or anywhere but the court room. Juror number eight thought critically about the fact that he was deciding the life of an eighteen-year-old. It would be unnecessary to send him to jail for life or many years if he was not guilty. By the end of the movie, juror number eight was able to get all jurors to think about the fact that they were deciding the rest of the life of an eighteen-year-old.
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